Rawmarsh revives traditional Whit Parade as part of Parkgate200 celebrations

A SCENE from generations ago was revived with children taking part in a traditional Whit parade at Rawmarsh.

Such events were held annually from the latter half of the 19th century until the early 1970s, with huge numbers taking part and watching.

And to tie in with the Parkgate200 celebrations this year, schoolchildren wore old-fashioned clothes for a revival of the parade.

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Traditionally, the floats and May queens made their way up the main road from Parkgate to Rawmarsh’s Rosehill Park.

This time, the whole event was kept within the park because of safety concerns about traffic.

Tony Dodsworth, Rawmarsh & Parkgate Local History Group chairman, said: “This was a very enjoyable event  made very special by the children's enthusiasm and excellent manners and behaviour.

“Years 1 and 2 from Ashwood Road School and Year 2 from St Joseph’s loved their ride to Rosehill Park on old buses provided by the South Yorkshire Transport Museum and very ably re-enacted an event that had not been seen in Rawmarsh and Parkgate for nearly 60 years... a Whit parade.

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“Many of the children were in old-fashioned clothes and really had fun making history as well as re-enacting it.

“One of the girls from St Joseph’s was wearing a long white dress that had been worn in a St Joseph’s May Queen procession about 60 years ago.

“The colourful and exciting event was enjoyed by all who saw it.”

Parkgate200 is a year-long celebration of the origin of the place, which can be traced back to the establishment of the Park Gate ironworks in 1823.

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